That’s what a New York City first grade teacher did to 7-year-old Joseph Anderson after the child “became upset while decorating an Easter egg.” And while I disagree with handcuffing angry children in theory, I have two of my own and… yeah… the thought does cross one’s mind from time to time.
“I was originally asked to write 150 words of praise for Amy Poehler. Unfortunately, a personal matter has forced me to deviate from this assignment. Amy, I know you are reading this. You won’t return my phone calls, e-mails or texts, and I’m fed up. In February 2011 you asked me to invest $15,000 in a ‘real estate’ opportunity you had heard about. Since then, I have heard nothing from you, and my research shows that the company, Excalibur Equity, does not even exist. I want my money back. Now. That said, I cannot say how much I admire and respect Amy Poehler.”—That’s the delightful Aziz Ansari writing about his “Parks & Recreation” co-star Amy Poehler in Time’s list of 100 most influential people. Normally, this list just gives Time an excuse to let really famous people say nice and boring things about other really famous people, so +1,000 to Aziz for subverting all that. Now go watch “Parks & Rec” or I’ll hurt you.
If Sugar Doesn’t Kill You, Sitting Will. Which is good news because you’re probably reading this while running in the park, and not sitting in front of your computer, at the end of a 9 hour stretch of sitting, right? Last Sunday’s issue of The New York Times magazine section singled out sugar as the biggest danger to humans. But The Atlantic says that what’s actually worse for you is long periods of sitting. “Common sense should tell us that sitting for long periods of time is not what humans were designed to do…It turns out that obesity and its related ills will continue to rise until and unless WE more often rise. ” So, go ahead and treat yourself to that vending machine candy bar and eat it walking back to your desk. It’s better for you than sitting.
Or so says the latest study from the International Journal for the Psychology of Religion. The researchers had test subjects answer math questions on a computer, letting them know that the answers to the questions would appear in a few moments if they didn’t press the space bar when finished. The temptation to find out the answer to a question was greater, they found, in people who believed in a forgiving God. I mean, it’s His job to let a couple slide every so often, right? Those who say they didn’t believe in God at all were found—on this particular set of tests—less likely to cheat. And with that, the veil is lifted off my my years of Catholic school education. Just in time for Easter.
Twitter Used Against Suspect in Rutgers Suicide Case. Last September, Dharun Ravi is alleged to have secretly videotaped his Rutgers roommate, Tyler Clementi, during a liaison with another man in their dorm room. Ravi is then accused of watching with another friend and posting about it on Twitter, encouraging others to watch, too. Days later, Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge, citing the embarrassing incident. Ravi’s actions online—and on Twitter—would be an important aspect in his indictment, which was announced earlier today. He was indicted on privacy and bias charges in a 15-count indictment, including three counts of evidence tampering and one count of witness tampering related directly to his Twitter actions following the suicide. Ravi is accused of deleting a tweet telling his friends and followers to watch Clementi online and later replaced it with a “false post … intended to mislead the investigation,” prosecutors said.
“We’ve gotten stopped by the police… They’ve driven up to us and said, ‘Why are you doing this? You can’t just hit balls into the water.’”—That’s Harlem golfer Angel Medina talking to the New York Times about his hobby of bashing golf balls into the Harlem River. And it makes me curious: Is it technically illegal to golf anywhere other than golf course? Is hitting golf balls into a river littering? Are these guys really doing anything wrong apart from figuring out to go drunken citygolfing before you did? I need to consult my USGA rulebook.
Your iPhone Knows Where You Were Last Night. The Guardian is reporting that, unbeknownst to you, your iPhone keeps your location coordinates and timestamps your movements and stores them in a file that could be easily hacked. And then, your iPhone kills you in your sleep. No, it doesn’t do that. But still, UNNERVING.
Kindlebooks Coming to Your Library Soon: Jay Marine — Kindle Director and a man who’s comfortable enough with himself to say the phrase “perfectly Whispersynced” in front of a crowd of people — announced today that Amazon’s ebooks would soon be available on pages like this from your local library. Cheapskate bookworms rejoice: Now you don’t have to do your trading with each other.
You Only Have One More Day To Read Krakauer’s Expose Of Greg Mortenson For Free. You may have heard about author Jon Krakauer’s expose of “Three Cups Of Tea” author Greg Mortenson from “60 Minutes” this past weekend. Now, you can read the full case against Mortenson for free for one more day at Byliner. If you’re the kind of person who enjoys seeing someone get absolutely owned for 89 pages (and I am), then I strongly suggest you get crackin’.
SHOCKING NEWS: Porn More Popular Than Preachy Liberal Eco-Fable. NPR is reporting that “3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy” has beaten the old first-day Chinese box office record set by ”Avatar.” And let me be the first to congratulate the Chinese for having the good taste to prefer a hefty dose of full-depth erotica over a heavy-handed enviro-sermon. At least “Sex & Zen” doesn’t take 150 minutes to get to the climax.
School Lunch: An Evolution. AdAge has the story of how Lunchables, the “king of kid’s lunches”, is trying to rebrand their image as a healthy option for parents. When I was a kid, Lunchables were not known for being exactly healthy; I fondly remember the Taco Bell-brand version. But now, with childhood obesity a nationwide concern—and Jamie Oliver all over our TVs showing us what a healthy lunch is—Kraft is cleaning up their plastic-box act. Their secret weapon? Adding fruit (in syrup.) My first guess would be to take out the slimy, high-sodium ham slices, but then again, I did like the squeeze-tube meat tacos.
POKER IS FOLDING! On the heels of the Feds shutting down three major online poker sites, ESPN has cancelled ALL of their poker programming and pull all poker ads. No more World Series Of Poker! No more Celebrity poker! No more Brad Garrett bluffing on the river! NO MORE 3AM SHOWINGS OF “ROUNDERS”! Cash in your chips, everyone! Poker is dying!
UPDATE: SubsistingOnArsenic points out that ESPN’s Andrew Feldman has been pushing back on this narrative for days now. Feldman Tweeted that he was about to jump on to Bill Simmons’ podcast, but that was cancelled.
“My wife and mother are both passionate viewers of All My Children and One Life to Live, as are many of my colleagues here at Hoover. We were and are as disappointed with this news as you are.”—That’s Hoover Vacuums VP Brian Kirkendall protesting the cancellation of two venerable ABC soap operas by pulling all of the company’s advertising. And while it’s oddly heartwarming to see an entire corporation fighting to keep a soap opera on the air, I have to ask: Does anyone at Hoover WORK during the workday?
All Fun Games Now Deemed “Risky.” New regulations from New York State Department of Health label childhood favorites freeze tag, kickball and wiffle ball as “risky.” Under the new law, programs that organize any two “risky” activities will be forced to register as summer camps, requiring a $200 registration fee and medical staff. Good on the state: You’d be amazed how many ways a kid can hurt herself slide into second base. And “freeze tag” is just a way to immobilize a kid until something can plow into him.
“We do a mix of quick hit investigative work when events call for it and mini-projects that might run for a few days. But every year we like to put together a project way too ambitious for a paper our size because we dream that one day Walt Bogdanich will have to say: “I can’t believe the Sarasota Whatever-Tribune cost me my 20th Pulitzer.”—
That’s the now well passed around job listing from The Sarasota-Herald Tribune. And wouldn’t you know it? The little paper indeed won a Pulitzer today. And while print may be a dying medium, it’s fun to see the paper’s tireless passion go rewarded. There’s hope for you ink-stained wretches after all.
Ever listen to an 80’s power ballad and think to yourself, “Man, I wish children were singing this,” well you’re in luck. Because there’s a Kidz Bop version of Monster Ballads on the way, including legendary tracks from Poison, Cinderella, GNR, and Skid Row. But as a parent who is often forced to listen to kiddie music, I must tell you: just because it used to be your favorite song doesn’t mean the kiddie version is somehow an improvement over a Dora the Explorer CD. It so isn’t, I promise you.
“In person, Carmelo is disarmingly casual about pretty much everything.”—That’s New York magazine’s Will Leitch with a rather glowing profile of Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who leads New York into a first round matchup with the Celtics on Sunday night. The above quote is notable because it can be as damning as it is flattering, and it was only but a few weeks ago when people were saying Carmelo played ”sloppy, scattered and selfish basketball.” Very soon, we’ll find out if that carefree attitude is valuable or toxic.
“China’s State Administration for Radio, Film & Television said that fictional time-traveling in programs “casually make up myths, have monstrous and weird plots, use absurd tactics, and even promote feudalism, superstition, fatalism and reincarnation.”—That’s from a TV Guide report on China banning all fictional time traveling, which means your flux capacitor will no longer work in Beijing. This is why you needn’t worry about the idea of China overtaking the global economy. Any government that strains so hard to strangle the imagination of its populace can advance only so far in today’s world.
“Everyone thought the post office was honoring just one great American institution when in reality they were honoring two — the Statue of Liberty and Las Vegas.”—
That’s Gordon Absher, spokesman for MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, talking about the postal service’s bungled stamp photo selection. Lady Liberty was supposed to be honored with her face on a stamp, but instead of selecting a picture of the real statue, a photo of the replica in Vegas was picked. The USPS didn’t realize the mix-up until a stamp collector pointed out the mistake. They say they don’t regret their photo selection. But former mayor Ed Koch says the post office is “doing a stupid thing.”
“Glee” To Cover “Friday,” Mayans Move Apocalypse Up By One Year. Here’s New York Magazine confirming that “Glee” and Rebecca Black’s “Friday” are joining forces, which was all but inevitable. I think the people behind “Glee” arrogantly assume anything they cover is instantly a million times better just because it was on “Glee,” and that is why “Glee” is a scourge upon us all.
That would mean that out of the 500,000 unique data points GetGlue enters into their system each day, roughly 414,000 of them are comments/ratings/recommendations. That’s quite a community. I’ve never used GetGlue but I plan to check it out tonight during “Bones,” to see if I feel the love as the numbers would suggest.
“They are iconic pieces of television that have made an indelible mark on our culture’s history.”—That’s ABC daytime president Brian Frons on the cancellation of both ”All My Children” and “One Life to Live,” which have been on the air for a combined 84 freakin’ years. That leaves just four daytime soaps left on network television, and I wouldn’t count on any of them staying on the air much longer.
“I bought a steak at Tad’s Steakhouse. I saw a hooker approach a man in a gray flannel suit. It’s pretty heavy stuff for a guy from Arkansas…I still have vivid memories of it. Romantic. Fascinating. It was dangerous.”—
That’s former President Bill Clinton, talking about Times Square at an appearance held at Gracie Mansion with Mayor Bloomberg. The mayor was touting the improved air quality since getting rid of cars—but Clinton seemed bent on discussing the other things no longer in the area, like hookers. Leave it to the infamous cad to refer to the rough and tumble old-school Times Square as “romantic.”
If You Build It, They Still Wont Bike. NYU’s Furman Center released a Census-based study on Tuesday, and their bike statistics are—according to City Hall—a little off. The study showed that a paltry 0.6 percent of residents—close to 23,000— commuted by bicycle to their jobs in 2009. That is 14 percent less than statistics recorded in 2007 and a surprising dip considering the amount of time, energy, and money the city has spent on new bike lanes. The Department of Transportation has conflicting reports, of course; they say the number of riders has increased 66 percent in two years. The DOT’s spokesperson said they count “cyclists, not questionnaires”—a dis to the Census methods from the department a little sensitive towards the issue of bike lanes. Who has the right statistics—the city or the Census? How many of you bike to work?
You will have a reaction to this cartoon. Nate Beeler’s latest cartoon for the Washington Examiner has drawn some mixed reactions. @tbridge loves it. @kcivey calls it “garbage.” The image is certainly arresting.
“The word “boobies” is just a word that young people use, it’s a word that moms say to babies.”—That’s Kimmy McAtee of Keep A Breast Foundation explaining why high school students should be allowed to wear I HEART BOOBIES cancer bracelets to promote breast cancer awareness. A Federal judge ruled that San Diego students are okay to wear them, and I love that a Federal judge had to rule on the use of the word BOOBIES. Wait until she has to deliberate on my bracelets supporting testicular cancer research.
“Maybe someone can ask Snow, if he ever comes out of his coma, why he thought it was a good idea to wear Giants’ gear to a Dodgers’ home opener when there was a history of out-of-control drunkenness and arrests at that event going back several years.”—That’s Pennsylvania columnist John Steigerwald referring to Giants fan Bryan Stow (Steigerwald misspells his name through the entire column), who was beaten into a coma outside a Dodgers game earlier this week. Congratulations, John! You have claimed the Mark Whicker Prize for Worst Sports Column Of The Century.
SIX. That would be the number of half-page ads featured in this week’s edition of Newsweek magazine, as it struggles to gain traction under Tina Brown’s refurbishing. And it’s too bad, because apart from reserving the back page for Tina’s rich friends to coyly recount the ONE time in life they screwed up (Oh Jerry Weintraub, you bought too many scarves for Elvis!), the magazine’s been a lot more readable of late. Perhaps because there are so few pesky ads.
“They were just dancing around the room… I mean, they had clothes on and stuff.”—That’s LaSalle University student Louis Halegoua describing Business professor Jack Rappaport bringing in three strippers as part of an ethics symposium. Obviously, Rappaport is the greatest teacher ever, and I think business students could use a real world lesson in how exactly Goldman Sachs bankers do business with their international counterparts.